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Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Programme 2024 for Young Entrepreneurs (USD $1.5 million Prize)

Application Deadline: June 9th 2024

Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program in Africa to support entrepreneurs. The mission is to showcase and grow local talent who are creating positive impact in their communities and beyond, and inspire a movement of African entrepreneurship. Over a ten-year period, the program will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and provide grant funding, training programs, and broader support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Africa’s Business Heroes directly supports talented and promising African entrepreneurs through its namesake Prize competition. Each year the Prize selects ten “business heroes” from across Africa that compete for their share of USD 1.5 million in grant funding. During the competition, participants have also exclusive access to training, mentoring and learning programmes, as well as to a community of like-minded African business leaders.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for our competition, you should meet the following criteria:

  • – You’re the founder or a co-founder.
  • – You’re an African citizen or the direct descendant (child/grand-child) of an African citizen.
  • – Your company is registered, headquartered and primarily in an African country.
  • – Your company has market traction and at least 3 years of revenue.


ABH is more than your average competition, and has been designed to provide both applicants and finalists with a range of benefits to meet the needs of entrepreneurs across the African ecosystem:

Grant funds of up to $300 000

Our Top 10 finalists share a prize pool of $1.5 million in grants ranging from $100,000 to $300,000. The winner takes home $300,000; The 1st runner-up and 2nd runner-up take home $250,000 and $150,000 respectively. All other 7 finalists, take home $100,000. An additional $100,000 is allocated for global immersion training.

Global recognition and exposure

ABH spotlights talented African entrepreneurs as finalists progress in the competition via press releases, social media, and news articles at every stage of the competition. We also provide significant exposure opportunities to the Top 10 finalists via extensive PR exposure and media coverage.

Access to an exclusive & vibrant entrepreneurship community and network

Finalists join an exclusive community of some of the most impactful and successful entrepreneurs from across the continent. ABH organizes numerous online and offline networking opportunities where these entrepreneurs can connect and collaborate.

Mentorship from business icons

The finalists are given access to mentorship opportunities with global business icons, investors, and business professionals both throughout the competition and afterward.

Targeted and practical training programs

ABH community members are given access to a range of bespoke training programs including financial management, marketing insights, understanding IP law, and more. Finalists are also given the opportunity to access additional programs and services such as investment readiness and management training via our network of partners and judges.

Insights into your business

Throughout the application process, we help our applicants strengthen their storytelling and pitching efforts via an introspective application process. Applicants are also given feedback at each stage of the competition, and they receive advice from numerous business professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs throughout the competition.


Round 1 Review of Application Form

Each application will be independently reviewed by three judges using our criteria. The Top 50 Finalists will be determined by the average scores of all applications.

Round 2 Video Call Interviews

Three established business leaders will engage each Top 50 finalist in an 1h30 in-depth assessment. The Top 20 Finalists will be determined by the average scores of all 50 Finalists.

Due Diligence

Our Top 20 Finalists will need to pass due diligence checks by a trusted third party to move to the Semi-Final round.

In-person Semi-Finale

Our short-listed finalists will pitch in-person to a panel of distinguished and experienced panel of investors, business leaders and professionals who will determine our Top 10 Finalists.

In-person Grand Finale

Our Top 10 finalists will pitch to a live audience and an illustrious panel of judges for their share of $1.5 million. The Finale will be broadcast online and will also be shared on our social media platforms.

More Info: Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Programme



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